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GOP presidential candidate Bill Weld suggested on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday that President Trump should face the death penalty for treason if he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son or face the withholding of military aid.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Weld's comments:

"[Trump] has now acknowledged that in a single phone call right after he suspended $250 million of military aid to Ukraine, he called up the president of Ukraine and pressed him 8 times to investigate Joe Biden, who the president thinks is going to be running against him."
"Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election. It couldn't be clearer. And that's not just undermining democratic institutions. That is treason. It's treason, pure and simple. And the penalty for treason under the U.S. Code is death. That's the only penalty. The penalty on the Constitution is removal from office. And that might look like a pretty good alternative to the president if he can work out a plea deal."

The big picture: It's still unclear exactly what Trump told Zelensky, and the president said yesterday that "it doesn't matter" what he said.

  • Democrats across government have demanded that Trump release the transcript of the phone call to prove he has nothing to hide.
  • The incident has renewed calls for impeachment from Democrats — even more moderate members who had previously expressed reticence, like House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican who has been critical of Trump in the past, called the allegations surrounding the call as "troubling in the extreme."

The bottom line: Trump leads Weld by more than 80 percentage points in most recent polls for the GOP nomination in 2020, per Real Clear Politics.

Go deeper: Pelosi hints at impeachment over Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint

Go deeper

House Judiciary Committee advances reparations bill in historic vote

Sheila Jackson Lee. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee voted 25 to 17 Wednesday to advance a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for Black Americans who are the descendants of slaves.

Why it matters: "No such bill has ever come this far during Congressional history of the United States," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who sponsored the bill, per the Washington Post.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Officer Kim Potter arrested, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Kim Potter's booking photos. Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

Kim Potter, the former police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, was released on a $100,000 bond on Wednesday, Hennepin County jail records show.

Why it matters: Sunday's shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, just 10 miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden names Erika Moritsugu as senior AAPI liaison

Erika Moritsugu. Photo courtesy: National Partnership for Women & Families

President Biden has named Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison, the White House announced Wednesday.

Driving the news: The decision follows weeks of pressure from AAPI leaders to include more Asian American representation at the Cabinet level and in senior administration roles.